I’ve been playing with seeds lately, trying to grow something that I can eat, not that I’ll ever eat any of it. I’ve planted a few herbs (oregano, lavender, and chamomile), some greens (mustard greens), roots (carrots), tiny pumpkins, and for looking at, some columbines.
The columbines were the last to sprout, which surprised me. I was happy that they decided to pop up, especially given the fact that I had given up on them. The lavender had the longest germination time stated on the packet, and the columbines might have been one of the shortest. I could look it up to be sure, but I don’t care that much. Nevertheless, I grabbed the columbine seed pack because the cover had a pretty picture and said “shade.” Given my lack of direct sunlight, I figured that would make them maybe the most successful of the seeds I’ve bought, but instead, the pumpkins are winning. I thought squash loved sun?
I keep my little seed tray under a florescent light thanks to advice I heard from Mike McGrath on public radio’s “You Bet Your Garden.” It’s a fun show, so give it a listen. He suggests using a shop light with two or even four long tube lights. To make sure the plants get enough light, he urges growers to run the two-tube set ups 24 hours a day! Wow! If plants don’t get enough light, they get long and leggy in their desperate search for sunshine (I grew an epic coleus in a bathroom for a few years that could attest to that), but still, I can’t get used to leaving my little light (just one CFL!) on for all the day. I know they don’t use a lot of energy, and they stay cool. If I left my apartment without turning off the light, though, I think I might start twitching.
It’s how I was raised.